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  • Writer's pictureRhi Scotchbrook

Top Tips for Dogs at Weddings

As you plan the celebration of a lifetime, there's no need to leave your four-legged friend out of the joyous occasion.

Including your dog in your wedding can add an extra layer of warmth, love, and, let's face it, adorable moments. To ensure that your furry companion is a paw-sitive part of your special day, I have compiled my top tips for dogs at weddings. From planning their role in the ceremony to ensuring their comfort throughout the festivities.

As a wedding photographer based in Yorkshire there is nothing I adore more than couples who create a wedding in a way that brings them joy, and including all of their loved ones in the celebration–such as their dogs–is one of the many ways they do so.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Dogs at Weddings

  • Paw Chauffeur 

  • Consider Your Dog's Personality

  • A Role Fit for a Canine

  • Dress to Impress

  • Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

  • A Comfy Retreat

  • Assign a Doggie Attendant

  • Capture the Moment

  • Check Venue Policies

  • Health and Safety First

  • Celebrate with Treats

Dogs at wedding during bride and groom wedding portraits captured by York wedding photographer and videographer

Paw Chauffeur 

Introducing a brilliant solution for your big day – a Dog Chauffeur!

Now, your cherished ones can relish the festivities without the worry of dog-sitting.

Bow Wow Vow, a dog sitting/dog chauffeur service that I've collaborated with numerous times, offers a fantastic service so people can have their dogs at weddings.

They'll take care of your furry friends for the day, escort them to the wedding as their plus one, keep them entertained, assist in walking them down the aisle, and even help capture their attention for those precious photographs.

Don't forget to include your canine companions in some of your portraits. After all, they're an integral part of your family, and having them join in the portraits adds an extra dash of love and joy to your intimate moments.

Consider Your Dog's Personality

Before diving into the details, take a moment to consider your dog's temperament – all dogs at weddings are different, and you know your dog best.

While some pups may revel in the attention and excitement, others might prefer a quieter setting. Tailor their involvement based on what makes them comfortable, ensuring their experience is as enjoyable as yours.

If you opt for a dog-friendly wedding venue they may have designated areas set up for your dog to relax.

A Role Fit for a Canine

Whether it's ring bearer, flower pup, or honorary "best dog," choose a role that aligns with your dog's personality.

Attach the rings to a decorative collar or create a floral arrangement for them to carry, making their role both charming and memorable.

Dress to Impress

Deck your dog out in style with a dog wedding outfit or accessories!

From floral collars to dapper bowties, there are countless options to ensure your pup looks the part. Just be sure to choose an outfit that is comfortable for them and won't cause any distress.

Dogs at wedding during bride and groom wedding portraits captured by York wedding photographer and videographer

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

Practice makes perfect when it comes to dogs at weddings.

Familiarise your dog with the wedding venue, especially if they have a specific role. 

Rehearse their part, and if possible, incorporate treats or rewards to associate positive experiences with their wedding duties.

A Comfy Retreat

Create a designated space for your dog to retreat to when they need a break.

Set up a cosy area with their bed, water, and some familiar toys. This ensures they have a quiet place to relax and recharge during the festivities.

Assign a Doggie Attendant

If a Dog Chauffeur is out of your budget. Enlist a trusted friend or family member as your dog's designated caretaker.

This person can be responsible for feeding, walks, and ensuring your furry friend is well taken care of throughout the day, allowing you to focus on saying "I do."

Just make sure that this person is definitely happy to accept the role.

Capture the Moment

Coordinate with your photographer to capture special moments with your dog.

Whether it's a candid shot during the ceremony or a heartwarming image of you, your partner, and your furry friend, these pictures will be cherished memories for years to come.

These images are so much fun and one of my favourite parts of as a wedding photographer – dogs at weddings make for the best photos!

Dog at wedding captured by York wedding photographer and videographer

Check Venue Policies

Before finalising plans, check with your wedding venue about their pet policies.

Some venues may have restrictions or specific guidelines for including dogs at weddings, so it's essential to be well-informed.

Health and Safety First

Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and consider a pre-wedding grooming session to have them looking their best.

Have a pet-friendly first aid kit on hand for any unforeseen situations.

Celebrate with Treats

Let's face it – treats make everything better.

Have a stash of your dog's favourite treats on hand, both for positive reinforcement during their role and as a reward for being an essential part of your wedding day. Plus, dogs at weddings deserve some tasty treats as well as the humans!

Will You Incorporate Your Dog at Your Wedding?

Now you know my top tips for dogs at weddings, your dog can be an integral part of your wedding celebration. From their adorable attire to their special role in the ceremony, including your furry friend adds a heartwarming touch to the joyous occasion.

So, let the tails wag and the memories flow as you create a wedding day filled with love, laughter, and the unmistakable charm of your loyal canine companion.

Don’t forget to enquire about your wedding photography so all of these loving moments are captured – I am a York-based wedding photographer and I can’t wait to hear from you!

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